“It was very emotional,” said one parishioner who attended the packed service at St. Theresas’s.
“The priest who started the service started crying and there wasn’t a single dry eye through the entire service. It was a sad, but happy moment. It was like coming back home.”
At the St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya where a bomber killed over a hundred people including children, the first Sunday mass since the attacks was a “somber one” said parishioners. The mass was held with over around 1,000 men, women and children in the Sunday school premises adjoining the bombed church that is still undergoing renovation.
Like in most Catholic churches around the island, the sermon surrounded the message of peace and hope. “We lost a lot of lives, but we should not lose hope,” said the chief priest, Father Shiral Fonseka during the sermon.
Survivors of the attacks, including a large number of men and women recovering from injuries attended the mass at St. Sebastian’s Church. At one point, the entire congregation was in tears as the priest prayed for the lives lost, the children orphaned and the widows and parents left behind.
“We thought we had run out of tears, but we cried again today,” Luxman Perera, the church carpenter, who witnessed the bomber detonating himself told The Telegraph. “Most of us were shivering throughout the service,” he said. Relatives of victims who died in the attack also came back to church for the first time since the bombing.